State data showed more than 3,000 people in Missouri had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and 53 people had died as of Tuesday afternoon, and a closer look at the numbers indicates there may be more of each.
At first glance, the numbers amounted to an increase of 315 cases and 14 deaths compared to data reported Monday afternoon.
Making direct comparisons with state numbers remains difficult given continued discrepancies with county-level data, however.
For example, the double-digit increase in the number of deaths likely didn’t all happen overnight. As early as Sunday, when the state’s count was 34, further review of local data indicated the real number was already in the mid-forties.
On Tuesday, the state totals remained different from local numbers in some of the state’s largest jurisdictions.
For example, St. Louis County said this morning it had 24 deaths, but the state said it had 15. The city of St. Louis said it had 440 cases and 10 deaths, while the state said it had 399 cases and five deaths. The state totals also say Greene County has six deaths despite local officials reporting a seventh four days ago.
Nevertheless, the state data clearly show the center of the state’s largest outbreak remains in the St. Louis area.
There have now been 1,203 confirmed cases in St. Louis County, which leads the state, 399 in the city of St. Louis, 221 in St. Charles County and 92 in Jefferson County.
On the other side of the state, Kansas City has 219 and Jackson County outside the city has 154.
Columbia’s Boone County had 77, while Springfield’s Greene County had 67, according to the state, though local data posted Tuesday showed 72.
However, early research indicates a substantial portion of people who contract the virus may not have symptoms, meaning the actual caseload could be higher than what has been reported. A dearth of testing availability, especially in March, may have also deflated the overall case count.
Of the dead reported by the state thus far, roughly 69 percent were over the age of 70, despite making up just 9 percent of overall cases. Roughly 22 percent of all cases were in patients 65 or older, the age group at highest risk for getting very sick from the virus.
Separate datacompiled by the Missouri Hospital Association also offered a look into what hospitals are seeing. Using data from the previous three days from 114 of 154 hospitals, the association said hospitals were treating 508 coronavirus patients as of Tuesday morning, an increase of 69 over the day before.
Those hospitals also had 472 patients “under investigation” for the disease, an increase of 33 from the day before.
Roughly a third of crucial intensive care beds were available among hospitals surveyed. More than half of those facilities' potentially lifesaving ventilators remained available.
Nationwide, there were more than 386,817 cases and 12,285 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a database maintained by Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there were more than 1.4 million cases and more than 81,000 deaths.